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Setting up a BA Fly Creek UL2 in the rain
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John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Setting up a BA Fly Creek UL2 in the rain on 02/18/2012 08:41:30 MST Print View

I recently purchased a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2. So far, it's proving to be a great tent for my dog and I. The high fabric sides are probably my favorite part of it - they are great at blocking drafts and keeping warmth in. One of the things that bothers me about the tent, however, is that the inner must be set up before the fly. This is not an issue for me most of the time, but would obviously be a big problem if it was pouring rain. After seeing that Big Agnes advertises that you can set up the fly with just the footprint, I came up with a simple solution that allows me to pitch the fly first and then the inner. On each part of the fly where the tent poles end, I attached a 1/4'' washer with a small loop of guyline:


Doing this adds a few grams at most (I did not weigh the washers) and allows you to erect the fly using just the poles:


Once this is done, you've created a very large backcountry kite, so it must obviously be staked down. Crawling inside, you have a decent amount of room to hang out in:



Note that the shape the fly assumes with just the poles is not the same shape it assumes with the inner attached. So when you want to set up the inner, you must first temporarily un-stake the fly, and then you can set up the inner while remaining under the fly the whole time. This actually has not proven too difficult to do when practicing in my house and in my backyard, but might be more challenging during a windy storm.

So is this a perfect solution? Not at all. But I think it would be workable and applicable to many other tents out there.

Edited by johnnyh88 on 02/18/2012 08:49:41 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Setting up a BA Fly Creek UL2 in the rain on 02/18/2012 10:32:40 MST Print View

I did the same with my old BA Seedhouse 2 UL. The good thing with the Seedhouse model is that the fly assumes the shape with or without the inner. But of course, you get to enjoy the lighter weight of the Fly Creek. :)

Edited by ben2world on 02/18/2012 10:34:42 MST.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Setting up a BA Fly Creek UL2 in the rain on 02/18/2012 10:35:08 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 09/08/2015 15:26:19 MDT.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Setting up a BA Fly Creek UL2 in the rain on 02/18/2012 10:56:26 MST Print View

No, I don't use a footprint. I almost bought one to try an idea similar to what you suggested, Mike, but I couldn't justify the price and extra weight for where I go. If anything, maybe I'll try making one out of Tyvek that could hold the shape of the inner for me as well as provide more floor protection.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Setting up a BA Fly Creek UL2 in the rain on 02/18/2012 10:59:49 MST Print View


I can solve the extra weight problem (but not price). Buy a dedicated footprint -- maybe get a used one here or on Ebay. Cut out all fabric except what connects one grommet to another -- resulting footprint should resemble something like a skeletal British flag.

Now, you too can enjoy "fast setup" without the full weight of a dedicated footprint.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Re: Re: Setting up a BA Fly Creek UL2 in the rain on 02/18/2012 11:14:19 MST Print View

Haha, Ben, thanks for the interesting idea! Now that I think about it, you could probably accomplish the same thing with some properly sized lengths of cord and a couple of washers. That would be great! Having the fly assume the proper shape without the inner would mean: more room, easier set up, no re-staking.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Setting up a BA Fly Creek UL2 in the rain on 02/18/2012 11:21:54 MST Print View

Amazing what a couple of human minds can do! The thing about cords is how to avoid getting them tangled up. Silnylon strips should work better. But I am sure you can work all that out without going through the expense. :)

Mercutio Stencil
(fuzz2050) - F
Quarter Dome on 02/18/2012 12:02:04 MST Print View

I actually just did something very similar with my Quarter Dome. The one advantage of a dome is that I was able to just run a two lines in a cross from either corner to maintain the shape of the tent, but you might be able to do some triangle thing with the Fly Creek. A few feet of Dyneema shouldn't weigh much, and you can ditch the washers for appropriately sized bowlines.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
cool idea on 02/18/2012 15:17:36 MST Print View

Thanks for the idea John! That looks like a simple solution. I actually bought the dedicated footprint, so I could attach them to that instead. I really like the size, weight and amount of space for these Fly creek UL2's. I bought mine for the same purpose, me and my dog. I haven't had a chance to go backpacking yet, but it works great in the living room of my apartment. Hahaha (staking is obviously an issue...I found weights do the trick).

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
re: update on 02/17/2013 16:48:13 MST Print View

While I have sold my tent, I did end up making progress on my idea. Here is what resulted:

I made a little "y-connector" out of some guyline and washers which enable the fly to be set up first by itself. This is very useful for when it is raining or when pitching it in high winds. I have weathered a monsoon easy in this setup. This addition weighs 0.4 oz and folds up small. Here's how it works:

Take the y-connector:

Unfold it and put the tips of the poles into the washers:pole_yconnector

Stake down the 3 ends like this:

Now your pole structure is set and staked! And now secure the fly over the poles and to the stakes so it can't blow away:

Then stake out the remaining fly pullout points:

This leaves you with a good amount of floor space to take refuge under:

Then you just clip in and secure your inner like normal, but while keeping it dry under the fly:

And you're left with a fully-pitched taut tent:

It took me a bit of fiddling to get the tension in the poles just right with the "y-connector", but it wasn't anything too bad. I imagine this idea could be applied to almost any tent really.

Edited by johnnyh88 on 02/17/2013 16:49:47 MST.

Stephen Judd
(RockyJ) - M
Nice! on 05/28/2013 14:50:47 MDT Print View

This is an awesome thread for Fly Creek owners. Thanks for the ideas!

Edited by RockyJ on 05/28/2013 14:53:17 MDT.

Renais A
Clipping the inner on 05/28/2013 22:12:41 MDT Print View

I've been playing around with this kind of setup for a while, and would appreciate input on how you clip in the inner once the fly is in place. Do you attach the hooks by grabbing them through the inner fabric, or do you have a way to reach around, while under the fly and attach them? Also, how do you attach the four corners of the inner to the stakes? Do you make an effort to attach the inner to the fly at the two midpoints where there are two hooks on each side to help pull out the inner by hooking it to the fly? Do you attach the guy line from the mid point of the inner to the stake which is holding out the mid point of the fly? Thanks for all the help; I really like using this tent, and think that this setup method will make it even more versatile.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: clipping the inner on 05/29/2013 08:18:27 MDT Print View

I pretty much just started at the foot end of the inner and worked my way forward. There's no perfect way to do it and at some point you'll have to crawl inside the inner. You can attach the inner directly to the stakes by little guyline loops, or by the buckles as usual.